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It’s a Utah Scroogapalooza! Welcome to the holiday arts season

Utah theater » A no-fuss, ‘humbug!’ free guide to choosing ‘A Christmas Carol’ that suits your every holiday taste and need.

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Haunts and enchantments » Wilkins said he never tires of playing "the squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner" Scrooge because it becomes new every year. "My hope is that with every year it’s a completely honest version of the character," he said.

At a glance

Count the Scrooges

It’s beginning to look a lot like Scrooge season in Utah, with multiple productions of adaptations of Charles Dickens’ holiday morality fable A Christmas Carol.

‘A Christmas Carol: The Musical’

When » Nov. 30-Dec. 15. Monday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2 and 8 p.m.

Where » Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East, Salt Lake City

Info » $38-$59. Call 801-581-6961 or visit www.pioneertheatre.org for more information.

‘A Christmas Carol’

When » Dec. 8-Dec. 22. Monday-Friday, 5 and 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m., 2., 5 and 8 p.m.

Where » Hale Centre Theatre, 3333 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City

Info » $18-$30. Call 801-984-9000 or visit www.halecentretheatre.org for more information.

‘A Christmas Carol’

When » Nov. 30-Dec. 22. Monday-Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 3 and 8 p.m.; Monday-Friday, Dec. 10-21, 5 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 15 and 22, 11:30 p.m.; Dec. 20 and 21, 2 p.m.

Where » Hale Center Theater Orem, 225 W. 400 North, Orem

Info » $12-$20. Call 801-226-8600 or visit www.haletheater.org for more information.

‘A Christmas Carol: The Musical’

When » Nov. 30-Dec. 22

Where » Heritage Theatre, 2505 S. Highway 89, Perry.

Tickets » $9 adults, $8 children and seniors; at the box office or 435-723-8392

‘Scrooge, A Christmas Carol’

When » Nov. 26 and 30, Dec. 1 and 3, 7:30 p.m.

Where » Terrace Plaza Playhouse, 99 E. 4700 South, Ogden

Tickets » $7-$12; visit terraceplayhouse.com/bev/tickets

‘A Christmas Carol on the Air’

When » Dec. 6-8, 13-15 and 10 and 17, 7:30 p.m.

Where » Randall L. Jones Theatre, Southern Utah University, Cedar City

Info » $5-$10. Call 435-586-7872 or visit www.suu.edu/arts

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The Utah attorney is such a devotee of the story that he owns the first U.S. illustrated edition from 1887, purchased recently on eBay, as well as a rare 1843 original printed in England. Wilkins said he loves almost any version of the story. What he won’t abide is any version that omits the central, horrifying vision of the boy Ignorance and the girl Want revealed by the Ghost of Christmas Present.

"Skip that, and you miss the whole point of Dickens’ tale," he said. "Dickens was a writer very much concerned with the abuses and political ideology of his time."

As a newbie to the story, Jackson said he was most touched by Scrooge’s first journey with the Ghost of Christmas Past into his boyhood and early adulthood. "It’s hard to think of anything more powerful than going back in time to see yourself as a child to help understand the person you’ve become," the actor said.

One of the glories of Dickens’ story, Jackson said, is that it reveals how the writer was able to transform people’s consciousness through impactful storytelling, drawing upon his years of experience writing political pamphlets on behalf of social reform.

"It is one of the supreme examples of how theater can be an act of consciousness-raising at one level, and completely entertaining on another," he said.




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